I e-mail my dear Irish pal in Ireland, to tell her about our day here in America. I am duty bound to assist her spouse, since he is an American. The poor man will have had to suffer the watered down version of Irish celebrations in Ireland and will have entirely missed out on the traditional version here, no Leprechaun traps for him. I don’t tell her what such a trap entails. I leave that joyful task to her husband, to see if he has any luck translating that one. I hope to transport him back to his happy childhood and St. Patrick’s Day school work sheets.
I explain how I have spent the morning toiling in the garden like an Irish navvy, spreading home made “compost” to the consternation of my children. Whilst I stood on the solid clay flower bed in a dust cloud with my fork, we seemed a long way from the rolling green hills. The nearest lawns are those belonging to the local MacDonalds, where verdant, manicured mounds tempt and confuse foreigners.
I send a picture of the children in their sparkly green bowler hats [smooth on the inside]. I don’t mention how junior used his; rammed down over his face to squash his nostrils so that he was no attacked by odourous mulch. I tell her of his great triumph in placing an item on his head. I don’t mention that the elastic chin strap had to be cut off.
I send her a link to a different site “GNM Parents” as a demonstration of my advancing techy skills, and proof that in the wee small hours, I attempt productivity. My attempts to reach out to the ‘normal’ population, those parents and children who will grow up and develop in the same generational time span as all of ‘our’ children. I need to win over that population, make autism less scary, not quite so weird, ‘merely’ a variation on a theme that they can tolerate, learn to live with, accept? My plan to conquer via humor is slow.
I hear back from her almost immediately via her Blackberry, stuck in some aeroplane en route to Japan. She and her family stopped off for Pizza [Ref 1] after a day out with the horses. But what else can you expect from a CEO of a high tech company, Irish or otherwise.
Three pairs of not particularly Irish eyes look in the same place at the same time on ‘command!’ [translation = shameless pleading and other psychologically damaging tricks]
[Ref 1] “Real Irish Italian pizza!”
“What I like about the people of Cork,” John tells me as we devour the last crumbs, “is how punky they are. Look at what you’re eating! It’s not national cuisine, but it’s not just fashionably international either. They’ve got the courage to sunder the rules here.”